Car Stalling While Driving? (9 Reasons Why)

If you own a gas powered engine, you know that your car relies on an engine turning and an internal combustion process to start and use your car. However, your car can randomly stall while you drive, which often signals an underlying problem.

You may be wondering why your car is stalling while driving. I did the research, and here is what I found!

Car Stalling While Driving?

1. You Do Not Have Gas

Firstly, one of the more simple and common reasons why your car stalled while driving is that you ran out of gas.

Generally, most engines will rely on gas for power since gas is a crucial component of the internal combustion process.

When you have little to no gas in your gas tank, your car will not be able to ignite the elements in the combustion chamber, which causes the engine to stall.

Normally, this occurs if your car has been low on gas for awhile, especially since some people overestimate how much gas is in their reservoir.

In some cases, you may have a fuel leak that causes you to suddenly lose gas quickly.

2. Problems In The Fuel System 

Other than lacking fuel in your car, cars often stall while you drive because you have a problem in your fuel system.

For example, a fuel pump is an important component that is in charge of sending gas from your fuel tank to your car’s engine.

Another crucial component would be your fuel injectors, which take the gas from your fuel pump and spray gas into the engine’s cylinders.

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When one of these parts fail, there will be little to no fuel in your car’s engine, so the car engine will not be able to create power and lead to stalling.

3. Transmission

If you have major issues with your transmission, you will likely deal with your engine stalling.

Your transmission is in charge of moving the power from your car’s engine to the wheels.

When your transmission fails, there can be a lot of stress on your engine that causes your engine to stop.

Usually, the exact issue will depend on what type of transmission that you have.

For example, automatic cars often deal with torque converter problems whereas manual cars face clutch-related issues.

4. Issues With Your Charging System

Typically, your car has a charging system voltage that helps various components of your engine run.

When a part of your charging system goes bad, your car will not have a steady source of electricity, which leads to the car stalling while you drive.

Usually, the cause would be from having a bad alternator since the alternator is responsible for recharging most of the electrical components of your car.

Bad alternators will provide very little voltage for charging, which can cause battery discharge and thus, a stalling car.

Normally, you will know that your alternator is the problem is a new battery is not fixing your car stalling issues.

5. Timing 


Typically, almost every car that relies on an internal combustion process has timing belts or timing chains.

These belts and chains help synchronize the engine’s timing between the top-end parts and crankshafts.

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In order for the internal combustion process to work properly, the timing has to be perfect.

Usually, the engine timing will shift and make the car stall when a timing belt or chain breaks or stretches.

6. Locked Up Belt-Driven Accessories

Normally, lots of cars will stall because there are failing belt-driven accessories in the car.

Some examples of car accessories that run on belts are your power steering pump or AC compressor.

When any of the belts for these accessories lock up, resistance will be put on the car engine’s drive belt.

Even if the drive belt does not break, the extra resistance will be put onto the crank pulley, which can make the engine stop.

7. Faulty Sensors

There are various sensors in your car, and having faulty sensors often leads to a stalling car.

Usually, this happens because the bad sensors are providing incorrect, incomplete, or irrational information to your engine’s software. 

For instance, your engine has a sensor for your engine coolant’s temperature, and if that goes bad it will not be able to properly know when to let coolant move throughout your engine.

Normally, having a bad mass airflow sensor leads to stalling because the sensor does not know how much air to let enter the combustion chamber.

8. A Vacuum Leak

When you have a vacuum leak, it means that there is a sudden amount of unmetered air in your car engine.

If you have a vacuum leak, it usually means that there is too much air in your combustion chamber, which will disrupt the ratio of air to fuel.

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Since there will be more air than fuel in your combustion chamber, your internal combustion process will be interrupted and make your car stall.

9. Spark-Related Problems

Since most cars utilize an internal combustion chamber to start their car, there needs to a spark to ignite the fuel and air within the chamber.

A spark plug and ignition coil are required to ignite the air and fuel mixture, so if one of these components go bad, your car will likely stall.


Cars can stall while driving for various reasons, but it normally means that there is an issue with your internal combustion process.

Some examples of what can make your car stall while you drive are bad spark plugs, faulty fuel pumps, and inaccurate sensor readings.

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